These past few weeks have been a busy time for me at work. It felt like I barely had time to even breathe. I’ve not had time to check the DOC, and missed a couple or three of DSMA’s weekly tweet chat. Thus, I’m grateful for this season’s 9-day Japanese New Year holiday period (now on day 3) to sleep and recharge. That said, despite the busy work schedule, I had a few non-work related events to share with you. Nothing profound or deep. Just a few more info on my otherwise mundane life.
Half-Marathon in Fukushima
I signed-up for the Aizu Higashiyama Onsen half-marathon, in Aizu Wakamatsu, for May next year. Aizu Wakamatsu is a traditional samurai town in Fukushima prefecture and was the location of a recent popular historical drama on TV. Yes, it is in Fukushima. To those who are worried about radiation, the town is 100 km west of the Daiichi nuclear power plant. The radiation levels there are very low and pose no health risk. No, I will not start glowing in the dark after the race.
I’m looking forward to this half-marathon. One, training for a race is a good incentive to go out for a run in winter. The colder it gets, the more our bed and duvet tempt me to stay in. I’m now building my running base before my half-marathon training begins in February (the coldest period of Tokyo winter). Two, I am hoping that May will be a pleasant time to visit Aizu Wakamatsu, which is north of Tokyo. At least, it probably will not be too cold to be outdoors but cool enough to have a pleasant 21 km race. Three, it will be my first visit to Aizu Wakamatsu, and I’m excited to visit such a lovely town. Four, I want to support parts of Fukushima that are suffering by association because people assume that the whole of Fukushima is under a cloud of high and dangerous radioactive level. I’ve always had a distaste for guilt by association, and I refuse to let uninformed fear override logic and facts and find guilt where none exists.
New camera lens
My husband surprised me with a new camera lens for Christmas. I’m still getting used to it, as I’m still getting used to my camera. I know, I know, I’ve had the camera for a few months now, but I still haven’t mastered its features (well, no rush). I’m excited to explore my camera with my new lens, though. I plan to use it for a photo project I’ve signed up for with fellow diabetic members of an online diabetes board (more info on this sometime next week).
I took the photo below on Christmas Day with my Christmas present. What do you think?
Christmas tree 2013
Did I just put in “work”? I did, didn’t I? Well, I left work at the office and it will stay that way. So, no talk of work today.
I’ve been using the Endomondo app for a couple of years now to record my running, walking and other activities, but I’m not very happy with it so I am in search of a new running app. I’m now testing Runmeter. I’ve just started using it so I do not know yet if it is the replacement app that I’m looking for. Any opinion, advice or thoughts on Runmeter would be most welcome, and of course please feel free to suggest other running apps.
I recently bought a Fitbit. I thought that it would be a fun way to track my daily steps. I had a pedometer before, but I had to record my steps by hand and I always forgot to do it. With Fitbit though my iPhone or my computer records my steps for me.
Anyway, do you know how difficult it is to walk 10,000 steps a day? I found that it’s not that easy to rack up 10,000 steps daily, even for someone who lives in a city such as Tokyo where everyone generally walks everywhere. The busier I am at work, the more bound I am to my desk, the fewer steps I take in a day. Although I do yoga or other exercises on non-running days, I still prefer to walk as closely as I could to 10,000 steps a day as possible.
Speaking of 10,00 steps, have you ever wondered who came up with the number? Is it arbitrary or does it have a scientific basis? From what I can find on the internet, it seems that the goal of walking 10,000 steps a day is a promotional ploy by Japanese companies to sell pedometers. Apparently, there is no research to support this number. Yet, it has caught on. In any case, as far as I’m concerned, it seems to be a good round number to aim for each day. Even if we don’t reach that number on a daily basis, it is the effort that counts.
I also managed to arrange our first ski trip this winter season. Hokkaido! I’m a bit nervous because I broke my leg last March skiing, but Hokkaido should be the perfect place for me to get back on to my skis. I’m so looking forward to it! Snow, here I come.
On a sad note, this morning I heard of the ski accident of Michael Schumacher over the radio. I’d like to take this opportunity to send our prayers to Mr. Schumacher and his family for his full recovery.
Right now, it’s time for me to put my feet up, with a glass of wine on my hand and a good film (The Conjuring I hope qualifies as one) to relax.